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What to Do with Leftover Paint

Recent research shows that latex paint and latex stain can safely be put in the garbage, if it’s dry or solidified first. Latex paint and latex stain are no longer accepted at Household Hazardous Waste facilities. Follow these steps to safely dispose of leftover latex paint and latex stain:

With small amounts (1 inch or less in the can), remove the lid and let the paint dry out in the can.

If there is too much paint to dry out on its own, mix equal parts paint with kitty litter or mix a commercial paint hardener such as “Waste Away” according to the directions. Allow the mixture to dry in the can.

Put the can in your garbage for pickup on your collection day. Leave the lid off so the garbage truck drivers can see that the can contains only dried paint.

Oil-based paint is hazardous and should be brought to the hazardous waste collection facilities.

How do I know if my paint is latex-based or oil-based?
Check the label on your paint can. Latex paint is also called “water-based.” It cleans up with water and dries on your walls in about an hour. Oil-based paint, also called “alkyd” paint, dries slowly (overnight), and cleans up with solvent, not water.